The WorldNetDaily editor spent 2016 telling new falsehoods and repeating old ones. That's what he does. Read more >>
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
CNS Does One Final Word-Counting Article on An Obama Speech
The Washington Post recently reported on right-wing media's obsession with counting certain words President Obama said -- particularly use of the personal pronouns llike "I" and "me" -- and singled out the Media Research Center and CNSNews.com for doing so.
We've noted CNS' obsession with counting Obama's use of personal pronouns and other trigger words, and it managed to squeeze in one more counting article before he left office.
A Jan. 11 CNS article by Susan Jones informs us in her usual sneering tone that "President Obama, the man who has embraced "change" throughout his presidency, used the word 16 times in his farewell speech Tuesday night, but he did not directly mention the change Americans embraced in November by voting for Donald Trump."
The Post added: "If the conservative media really wants to keep monitoring presidential self-references, however, Donald Trump should provide plenty of material." But it seems CNS is too busy uncritically transcribing Trump's words to be bothered to count them.
WND Hails Its New Trump Overlord
As Donald Trump took the office of president, the Trump fluffery was in full swing at WrldNetDaily. Here's a sampling of WND headlines on inauguration day:
Those were the "news" articles. Then we have opinion pieces so ridiculously pro-Trump they verged on the orgasmic.
Bill Cloud's column carries the unironic headline "With President Trump, has America been saved?" Cloud calls former President Obama an "oppressive and ungodly spirit" and added that "thankfully, Hillary Clinton was defeated." He actually backed off the premise of his headline, admitting that Trump has work to do and that he must "humble himself before God and seek heaven’s guidance as he is faced with the crucial decisions that will determine America’s future." Of course, if Cloud had been paying attention at all during the past year and a half, he would know that humility is not in Trump's DNA.
Jesse Lee Peterson declared that "President Donald J. Trump is a living example of God’s love for our country and proof He’s giving the people yet one more chance." Like Cloud, Peterson has also not been paying attention, or else he would not have written this: "Because Donald has no anger, he holds no resentment, fear or doubt in a fight, so he freely says what he needs to say." And like Cloud he takes a gratuitously nasty shot at Obama, calling him "evil" and claiming "It was eight long years of darkness under former President Barack Obama."
Mychal Massie waxed rhaspodic, asserting that "We the People had hoisted a blue-collar billionaire upon our shoulders and carried him to victory, refusing to be sidetracked or swayed by the political illuminati and Erebusic progressives posing as objective media," adding that "President Trump’s inauguration speech was a breath of air so fresh and so pure that it asphyxiated the politicians and progressive mainstream media."
WND editor Joseph Farah, meanwhile, exclaimed "Hallelujah!" about Trump's inauguration speech: "Sitting with my wife in the first row of public seating, I had goose bumps. This guy really means what he says. We need to pray daily that he stays the course he has set." Farah then got misty: "I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I had awakened early to see this with my own eyes and hear it with my own ears. It was stirring. I don’t care what my critics will say: I had tears in my eyes." He added: "Every word is meaningful. And every word was spoken with total conviction. ... How anyone can hear those words, read those words, listen to those words and not be profoundly affected is a bit mystifying. They are inspirational. They are uniting. They are powerful."
The winner for fawning pro-Trump prose, however, has to be WND reporter Garth Kant, who pronounced the Trump White House a new Camelot and Ivanka Trump and Melania Trump the new combined Jackie Kennedy:
This appears to be the tone of WND coverage for the next four years: drooling sycophancy for Trump, unbridled hate for anyone who dares criticize him.
MRC to CNN's Stelter: Darn Right We'll Play Along With Trump's Lies
Topic: Media Research Center
On the Jan. 22 edition of CNN's "Reliable Sources," host Brian Stelter criticized the blatant lies White House press secretary Sean Spicer told about inauguration crowd sizes, questioning if this sort of "gaslighting" and dennial of reality is what we should expect from the White House press office and the Trump administration as a whole. Stelter added: "Will conservative media outlets play along with Trump’s lies? Will they claim he is telling the truth or will conservative outlets respect their readers enough to call BS on BS?"
The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro answerrf Stelter in a post the same day. He claimed Stelter "issued his arguably most dire/bonkers warning about the president yet," "showed nothing but contempt for the president," and "vigorously tried to sow the seeds of doubt" about Trump's veracity. Fondcaro dismissed concerns about the demonstrable falsehoods coming from Spicer as nothing but "talk of crowd sizes."
Fondacaro then launched a full-on rant attacking Stelter for daring to question the conservative media's response to Trump:
So, Fondacaro's answer to Stelter is: No, the MRC -- which includes "news" division CNSNews.com -- does not respect its readers and will not call BS on BS. It will play along with Trump's lies, because that's what the Mercers are funding the MRC to do.
Thanks, Nick, for proving Stelter correct.
Monday, January 23, 2017
WND Columnist: Obscure Anti-Trump World Leaders Influenced U.S. Voters, Russia Didn't
Irwin N. Graulich uses a Jan. 17 WorldNetDaily column to make a very strained attempt to deny Russian influence on the presidential election:
But of the 28 "world leaders" Graulich names, the vast majority of American have never heard of most of them -- do you know who "Søren Espersen, a foreign affairs spokesperson for the Danish People’s Party" is? -- and nearly all of them were never widely reported in the U.S.
By contrast, the actions the Russians are alleged to have taken to interfere in the presidential election were specifically targeted at Americans in order to boost Trump and/or attack Hillary Clinton. The U.S. intelligence report on it shows that Russian meddling "blends covert intelligence operations — such as cyber activity — with overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or 'trolls.'" That included gaining illicit access to Democratic campaign emails.
Did any of those 28 "world leaders" Graulich cited do anything more than make a simple statement critical of Trump? Does Graulich really thing that a critical statement that in most cases was never even reported in U.S. media is the same thing as the elaborate Russian campaign that aimed to, in the intelligence report's words, "undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency"? Please.
Fake News: MRC Falsely Portrays End-of-Life Counseling As 'Death Panels'
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Matthew Balan complained in a Jan. 12 post that NPR's "All Things Considered" "played up the long-term effect of the anti-ObamaCare "death panel" talking point and labeled this phrase 'fake news.'" Balan then perpetuated that fake news:
But even the conservative National Review points out that "Paid end-of-life counseling and advance planning are not 'death panels.'" Wesley J. Smith continues, debunking longtime right-wing health care misinformer Betsy McCaughey:
We've shown how the MRC refuses to have a serious conversation about fake news. Now it's creating some.
WND's Farah: CNN Reporter Who Challenged Trump Must've Been On Drugs
Joseph Farah starts his Jan. 17 WorldNetDaily column recounting how he had to deal with drug-testing potential employees while "running daily newsrooms and newspapers in major markets," claiming that many potential hires flunked the drug test and that even after being told how long it takes for pot to clear out of one's system sufficiently to past a drug test, it seemed that "many" of them "would rather smoke pot than get the job they wanted."
This was all prelude for his malicious attack on CNN's Jim Acosta for daring to challenge Donald Trump at a press conference:
It seems Farah has forgotten the time one of his own reporters was even more rude and arrogant to a president.
In 1999, Paul Sperry -- a onetime WND reporter but at the time a reporter for the right-wing Investor's Business Daily, attended a social event at the White House at which President Clinton was to make a brief appearance. Despite the fact that it was a casual, off-the-record event, Sperry insisted on pigeonholing Clinton about various scandals right-wingers like himself were obsessed with. And he kept pressing the issue after Clinton declined to answer, not unlike Acosta tried to do with Trump.
But WND didn't call Sperry "outrageously rude, obnoxious, arrogant, insufferable." Quite the opposite -- a 2000 WND article in which Sperry spun his version of events touted how Sperry "challeng[ed]" Clinton "with tough questions about issues of concern to the American people." Sperry sneered that Clinton was "the most corrupt president in U.S. history" and chortled at how, during his questioning, "Clinton’s face turned a darker hue of red, almost the purplish color of raw hamburger meat that’s been left out on the counter." Sperry went on to complain: "Funny how the press corps suddenly stands on ceremony when a Democrat is in the White House" and grumbled that his press colleagues "seem more interested in currying favor with this White House and maintaining their good standing in the Washington cocktail class than ferreting out the truth for the American people and holding the president accountable for sending our national security to China in a handbasket."
Farah will never say that about any reporter who challenges Trump, as his malicious attack on Acosta demonstrates -- despite the fact there is arguably no real difference in the two incidents other than the political party in office.
(You might remember that Sperry launched a factually challenged attack on Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin during the presidential campaign last fall.)
Farah added that he doesn't have a problem with reporters using drugs at WND: "'Druggies' just don’t seem to have the desire to work here. I’ll let you decide for yourself why that is true." Well, some might consider the brand of right-wing Christianity Farah and his WND reporters espouse to be a sort of drug, since it seems to make them do things like launch malicious personal attacks on people with whom they disagree.
Sunday, January 22, 2017
CNS' Inauguration Coverage As Biased And Pro-Trump As You'd Expect
CNSNews.com's coverage of the inauguration contained numerous solicitation links to "Support MRC's Inauguration Coverage" (which seems to confirm that CNS has no editorial independence from its Media Research Center parent and is little more than the MRC in inverted pyramid form). That link goes to a page with the headline "How Will We Remember Inauguration 2017? Defend American History from the LYING LIBERAL MEDIA!" followed by "Support ACCURATE, OBJECTIVE coverage from the Media Research Center to counter FAKE news and manipulative reporting!"
"Accurate"? Only in a technical sense. "Objective"? That is, to coin a phrase, an alternative fact. One needs only look at CNS' inauguration coverage to see just how far from objectivity it was.
The coverage began with Susan Jones shamelessly touting how "When it comes to Friday's weather, President-elect Donald Trump is looking on the bright side, even if it rains." She then oozed over "Melanie’s [sic] elegant blue dress with matching shoes and gloves" and rhapsodizing how "Friday's sunrise glowed pink and gold in Washington, as seen in this screen grab from C-SPAN."
Jones also gave a platform for Trump to talk about his "great" and "beautiful" Cabinet picks. Surprisingly, she actually tried to engage in objective reporting by noting Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer's criticism of some of Trump's cabinet picks,though the overall balance of the article was pro-Trump.
Barbara Hollingsworh, meanwhile, touted how "Both President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence will swear their oaths of office Friday on historic Bibles used by former Republican Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan."
CNS then managed to squeeze four articles out of Trump's inauguration speech -- easy to do when you're simply engaging in stenography:
That was followed by an article from Hollingsworth heaping praise on the speech from right-wingers and "presidential historian Craig Shirley" (who is not identified as a conservative). It's not until the 27th paragraph of her article that Hollingworth concedes that "others voiced disappointment with the tone and content of Trump’s first speech as president," and conservatives were quoting as saying Trump's speech had a "darker tone" and "did not take the high road."
CNS even managed to dredge up Samuel Wurzelbacher, aka "Joe the Plumber," to gush about how he voted for Trump because he believes in "a strong economy, a strong military and strong borders."
CNS' coverage of the outgoing Obama administration, by contrast, was uniformly negative.
CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman repeated a homophobic smear by anti-gay minister and WorldNetDaily columnist Jesse Lee Peterson, who claimed that President Obama pardoned Chelsea Manning because "he has some type of issue going on that causes him to identify with these types of people."
Jones huffed that Obama's final tweet as president was "urging his supporters to check out his newly created Obama Foundation." Neither Jones nor anyone else at CNS has seen fit to mention the new Trump White House website promotes Melania Trump's QVC jewelry collection.
CNS editor in chief attacked Obama in two articles best summed up by their headlines: "Obama Leaves U.S.A $9,335,000,000,000 Deeper in Debt" and "Obama Was First President to Spend More on Welfare Than Defense."
CNS' Patrick Goodenough took offense to outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry praising those of his generation who "went out and fought" for women's liberation and equal rights and against the Vietnam war. His article was illustrated by a 1972 picture of Kerry testifying Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing about the Vietnam War.
CNS did devote an article to criticism of Trump's inauguration speech, but Eric Scheiner talked to only one person, one who was apparently chosen to be self-discrediting: a Democratic congressman from Massachusetts named McGovern.
It seems the MRC's claim that it puts out "objective coverage" is nothing more than fake news.
WND Revels In Being Able To Go Birther In Public Again
Now that Donald Trump's election made it safe to go birther again, WorldNetDaily -- in particular, reporter Bob Unruh -- has been totally embracing it.
After the last-gasp Dec. 15 press conference by ousted sheriff Joe Arpaio and Cold Case Posse chief Mike Zullo, WND's Bob Unruh has been rounding up various tidbits that didn't make the original presser:
Unruh also wrote a Dec. 28 article spining a poll founding that one-third of respondents don't believe Obama was born in Hawaii and that he was probably born in Kenya as proof of its reporting and not people falling for discredited conspiracy theories.
Needless to say, Unruh -- as WND has for years -- censored any mention of the copious evidence that discredits birther conspiracy theories and the sloppy work done by Zullo. Dr. Conspiracy, for example, pokes holes in Zullo's main claim, that the date stamp on Obama's birther certificate was at exactly the same angle asanother birth certificate issued around the same time.
Nor does Unruh question why Zullo has not publicly released the full analyses from Reed Hayes (who is a handwriting expert, not a digital document expert) and the Italian forensic laboratory he claims he relied on to make his conclusions.
It's so safe to be a birther again even WND editor Joseph Farah is doing it, after months of ducking the issue in order to avoid having to apply WND's Obama birther standards to Ted Cruz. Farah's Jan. 20 column cheered how the birther issue allegedly helped propel Donald Trump to the presidency:
Throughout his column, Farah gives Trump a pass for both pushing unsubstantiated and unverified birther claims and for flatly declaring that Obama was born in the U.S. when absolutely nobody (including Farah) believes he meant it. All that matters to him that Trump raised the visibility of the issue, not whether any of it is true. (Remember, WND loves publishing fake news.)
Farah also forgot to mention the pertinent fact that he and birther extraordinaire Jerome Corsi were advising Trump behind the scenes on his birther crusade.
What we will see happen over time from WND is Farah and Unruh promoting Zullo's conspiratorial claims as undisputed fact, censor anyone who does dispute them and refuse to demand transparancy from Zullo's investigation. Heck, WND has so far been afraid to tell its readers that Arpaio's replacement as Maricopa County sheriff is disbanding Zullo's cold case posse.
Yes, Trump's election means it's safe for Farah and WND to be openly birther again. That doesn't mean they've become any less dishonest about it.
Saturday, January 21, 2017
MRC Laughably Declares MSNBC To Be 'State Run TV,' Forgets Fox News Under Bush
Topic: Media Research Center
A Jan. 17 Media Research Center post by Scott Whitlock complains that "Disgraced journalist Brian Williams on Monday offered up a glowing documentary on Barack Obama that censored the President’s numerous scandals and controversies." While Whitlock curiously buries the name of the network the special appears on -- MSNBC -- his headline declares it to be "State Run TV."
Whitlock ignores that by his same definition -- overly positive coverage of a sitting president -- Fox News was "state run TV" during the Bush administration. Fox News was granted numerous exclusive opportunities to hurl softball questions at President Bush, including touting of his alleged legacy and, yes, a TV special dedicated to fawning over "his extraordinarily consequential tenure."
But Whitlock and the MRC will never call Fox News that, of course -- it doesn't want to do anything that would put its frequent appearances on the channel (and sister channel Fox Business) in jeopardy.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, End-Of-Term Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
-- Myra Adams, Jan. 12 WorldNetDaily column
-- Burt Prelutsky, Oct. 17 WND column
-- "George Bailey" ("a pseudonym"), Jan. 18 WND column
-- Larry Elder, Jan. 18 WND column
-- Erik Rush, Jan. 18 WND column
-- Larry Klayman, Jan. 20 WND column
Friday, January 20, 2017
Newsmax Columnist Demands Intel Loyalty to Trump Over Country
Fred Fleitz used to run LIGNET, Newsmax's now-defunct "global intelligence and forecasting" service that tried (and failed) to charge $299 a year for analysis from ex-intelligence officials. Now it seems he's reduced to shilling for Donald Trump and throwing his former fellow intelligence types under the bus.
In a Jan. 6 Newsmax column, Fleitz expresses his rage that an intelligence report on Russian meddling in the presidential election was leaked to the media, complaining that this highlights "growing tension between President-elect Donald Trump and the U.S. intelligence community," and such leaks will "only widen the rift between Trump and U.S. intelligence agencies."
Apparently, Trump isn't at fault for perpetuating the rift.
Fleitz then demands total loyalty to Trump from the intel community, before even the good of the country:
Did Fleitz demand that the intel community be loyal to President Obama, or did he encourage them to undermine his presidency? We don't know. Perhaps Fleitz can enlighten us.
Fleitz doesn't explain if intel folks should stay loyal to Trump even as evidence mounts of the unseemly close connection between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia?
CNS Reporter Can't Decide Whether She Likes EPA Nominee
It seems CNSNews.com can't quite decide what to make of EPA administrator nominee Scott Pruitt.
CNS' Melanie Hunter wrote a Jan. 18 article touting Pruitt saying conservatively correct things about climate change at his confirmation hearing, under the headline "EPA Nominee: Climate Change ‘Subject to Continuing Debate’."
An hour later, however, Hunter had to highlight a Pruitt statement that wasn't conservatively correct, in an article carrying the headline "EPA Nominee: ‘I Do Not Believe That Climate Change Is a Hoax’."
In that article, she also grumbled that "Similarly, Interior Secretary nominee Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday that he did not believe climate change was 'a hoax.'"
In between those two articles, though, Hunter wrote a third one, in which Pruitt got further due from Hunter for sticking to right-wing orthodoxy,
So, presuming that two pro-Pruitt articles outweigh the negative one, maybe Hunter really likes Pruitt after all.
WND: All Mosques Should Be Presumed To Be Radical
Leo Hohmann's not the only WorldNetDaily reporter pushing anti-Muslim hate.
Garth Kant has been writing a series of articles essentially claiming that all mosques in the U.S. should be considered hotbeds of radicalism. In the first, on Jan. 4, Kant tries to downplayhis intent:
Kant goes on to play alleged guilt-by-association -- no actual proof, mind you -- with a Muslim group, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, that wants to build a mosque in Virginia but is being stymied in part by land-use issues:
Kant's Jan. 8 article is headlined "How to tell if your neighborhood mosque is radical." The short answer: it's a mosque. He again calls in Haney to downplay that assumption, once again asserting that "not all mosques may become havens or breeding grounds for terrorists or radical Islamists, they usually serve as 'centers of gravity' for jihadi rings."
Kant also calls on Karen Lugo, author of a book that describes how to stop mosques by using local zoning and land-use statutes, to talk about forcing what are effectively loyalty oaths on mosque builders to supposedly determine if "the leader would put strict Islamic Shariah law above U.S. constitutional law on a variety of issues,"' because "the Shariah threat discourages assimilation."
Kant adds: "Lugo said people should be wary when they learn of such seemingly innocuous initiatives as living like a Muslim for 30 days or efforts to remove St. Valentine’s Day from the school calendar."
Of course, if Kant was talking about a Christian church doing such things, that would be call evangelism.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Bozell's MRC Bashed Hillary's Lack of Pressers, Now Hopes Trump Never Holds Another One
Topic: Media Research Center
For much of the 2016 campaign, the Media Research Center -- despite a nonprofit tax status that prohibits it from explicit involvement in politics -- repeatedly attacked Hillary Clinton for not holding a press conference at sufficient intervals during her presidential campaign, huffed that the questions weren't anti-Hillary enough when she did hold one, and even complained when an NPR media critic said she "may have a point" when there are other ways to hear from a candidate.
Flash forward to after the election, and the MRC is hypocritically cheering how Trump is showing new ways to hear from a candidate.
Funny, Hillary never got love from the MRC for going around the media.
And after all the demands for Hillary to hold a presser, the MRC would be hypocritically happy if Trump never held another one.
In a tantrum following Buzzfeed's publication of an unverified dossier of salacious information about Trump, Bozell ranted that Trump is right to not hold pressers:
Actually, "unverified" does not equal "fake news." Remember, the claim of a Bill Clinton affair was unverified at the time the Drudge Report touted it.
Besides, Bozell doesn't want the media to give "fair" treatment -- he wants the media to be Trump's lapdogs, to uncritically report whatever he says and ignore any impropriety or scandal. You know, like how Bozell's "news" outlet, CNSNews.com, covered Trump during the campaign.
Bozell made this crystal clear when he declared in a Jan. 18 appearance on Fox News division Fox Business -- the preferred MRC outlet because it gives Bozell the uncritical coverage he demands the media give Trump -- that reporters are "enemies" of Trump:
Bozell's view of the media has always been a partisan caricature designed to raise money and create a sense of victimhood among conservatives. The only "improvement" he has ever sought is the creation of more right-wing media bias. No wonder he flip-flopped to get behind Trump, who hates the media for not being right-wing stenographers as much as he does.
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